Controlled by Others

Studies are showing forgiveness is not only good theology, but also good medicine. Medical research shows that forgiving is good for our soul and our bodies.

People who forgive:

  • Benefit from better immune functioning and lower blood pressure.
  • Have better mental health than people who do not forgive.
  • Feel better physically.
  • Experience less anger and fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  • Maintain more satisfying, and long-lasting relationships.

“When we allow ourselves to feel like victims or sit around dreaming up how to retaliate against people who have hurt us, these thought patterns take a toll on our minds and bodies,” says Michael McCullough, director of research for the National Institute for Healthcare Research and a co-author of ToForgive is Human: How to Put Your Past in the Past.

Failure to forgive makes us a slave to someone else’s sin. We become so consumed with wanting to be justified and even when we think we have, it still is not enough. The question is: “Who is controlling who?” When we fail to forgive, we are the one who is being controlled. In many cases, the one who should be asking for forgiveness does not care or may not know they have offended. And so we let them control, or consume our thoughts.

Whether an offender comes and ask for forgiveness or not, we need to stand ready, and be willing to forgive. The Bible tells us in Matthew 18:21-22 that the apostle Peter came to Jesus and asked: “‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.’”So it is that forgiveness is not an option, it is a command. We need to be careful that we do not let the Devil have victory in our lives because of our inability to forgive. It does not matter how bad the offense, if we cannot forgive, or be ready in our heart to offer it by placing it at the feet of the Lord, we will have issues of resentment, anger, bitterness, and depression. In Romans 12:19 the Lord promises: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord.”

Do not hold on to something that is keeping you from having victory in your life. The Bible says we are to: “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” – Colossians 3:13. In John 3:16-18 God teaches that forgiveness begins with asking Jesus Christ for forgiveness of our own sins.

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